With life gradually starting to return to normal and borders beginning the open, it is no secret that TRAVEL is at the top of everyone’s wishlist! We get messages every day asking ‘when are tours in Thailand starting again?’ & ‘can I travel to Thailand in 2021?’. The honest answer is – it’s looking promising but there are no guarantees right now…
It is possible to travel to Thailand at this current moment but there is hotel quarantine on arrival including mandatory PCR testing and regional restrictions.
Below we’ve outlined some of the important things to consider, some of the most frequently asked questions and where things currently stand when planning trips to Thailand in 2021.
Before we get into it…
The information that we deliver through this blog is based on developing circumstances and from a range of sources. None of the information included is guaranteed and the situation is subject to change at a moments notice. We recommend that you sign up for email notifications from official sources in your country of residence. It is important that you personally check visa, entry and quarantine requirements before you travel (both during & outside of COVID times).
- UK Travellers – Click here for official guidance from the FCO
- US Travellers – Click here for official guidance from the state department
- Canadian Travellers – Click here for official guidance from the government department
- Australian Travellers – Click here for official guidance from the government department
Updated on: 11th June 2021
What is the situation like in Thailand?
The situation in Thailand over the last few weeks has been a little worrying, with a significant increase in the number of people testing positive with the virus and the country trying to manage the biggest wave of infections yet. On the flip side, things are beginning to look promising with Thailand about to start its mass vaccination program.
Generally, Thailand alongside other South East Asian countries has managed things with the pandemic pretty well. Almost all non-essential international travel was stopped early, face coverings became mandatory and regular curfews took place as well as snap lockdowns.
Bangkok as expected has taken the biggest hit due to its population density and the sheer number of people that live there. Generally, Thailand is a safe country to travel to, with low infection numbers compared to other countries.
So does that mean I can travel to Thailand?
The short answer is YES. Well, you can but it will be a complete ball ache as the entry requirements are very tight and mandatory hotel quarantine is enforced.
Below we’ve broken down all the frequently asked questions to give you a clear understanding of where things are at;
You can travel to Thailand at this current moment but you’ll need to obtain a CoE (Certificate of Entry). You will need to contact your local embassy of Thailand and submit an application or you can do it online via the Royal Thai Government website.
This goes hand in hand with the answer above but you will need to apply for an STV (special tourist visa). The period of the visa is a minimum of 90 days and like most visa’s in Thailand can be extended while you are there. For the most up-to-date information, again you should visit the Royal Thai Government website.
Like most countries around the world, Thailand has brought in mandatory PCR testing no more than 72 hours before departure. Be sure to keep all documentation safe as you will need to show it at your port of entry.
At this current moment vaccine or no vaccine, the entry requirements in Thailand are the same. From the 1st of July Phuket will be opening its borders for all vaccinated tourists under the ‘Sandbox’ campaign. All entries will be required to stay in Phuket for 14 days before they are given the green light to access all areas. This Sandbox campaign is a little up in the air at the moment as the 14 days restrictions were recently increased from 7 days. Testing will take place during those 14 days to ensure you are not posing a danger to others within the Kingdom of Thailand.
At this current moment, it means absolutely nothing to have a vaccine when entering Thailand. But… as I touched on above – you can enter through Phuket for 2 weeks of restricted fun on Phuket’s beaches!
Travel insurance during COVID times is a little funky, to say the least. Be sure to check with your insurance provider that they cover you for travel and what are the procedures in the event of border/entry changes. Alongside your negative test result, you will be expected to present proof of medical insurance that covers you for a minimum of $100,000 USD for any treatment during your stay in Thailand.
The quarantine process in Thailand is combined with the negative test pre-departure. Anyone entering the country will be required to hotel quarantine in an ASQ (government-designated facility) at their own cost. You will be required to book this in advance and the price usually includes food, testing and accommodation. Generally, it’s not cheap and you will be forced to stay in the room for the duration of the quarantine period.
There is a local track & trace style system in Thailand. All travellers entering Thailand will be required to sign up for the ThailandPlus app on their smartphone.
Life in Thailand is generally pretty normal for locals. For tourists, things are still a little restrictive. Attractions have slowly started to open with restrictions on the number of people that can enter and limited opening hours. Curfews are in place in some areas and most of the national parks & beaches are open.
Due to us being a British company we are governed by UK law and we are unable to get insurance to operate our tours in Thailand at this current moment. We are constantly monitoring the situation and we, just like you, are eager to get going and continue where we left off… LIVING THE DREAM!
This is a very very very popular question. To be honest, most people want to travel ASAP, but realistically there is so much red tape it’s making it almost impossible to plan for the immediate future. With that said, most people are booking trips between January and April next year. We have trips in Feb/March that are already over 60% full.
Thailand as a nation is struggling hard without the income from tourism. During 2019 alone the country generated over $60bn from international tourism making it one of the most profitable nations on the planet for travel. With that said, the government in Thailand will be focusing on finding a balance between restarting the economy and the risk of COVID.
If you’re looking to go on holiday in the immediate future, I would give Thailand a miss. For anyone looking to travel to Thailand later in the year/early next year, it looks to be a safe bet. Be sure to book with a reputable travel company that has minimal deposits and super flexible booking conditions (like us 😎)
You can find out more about what we do & check out our trips here.
When is the best time to travel to Thailand?
Thailand is a destination that is visited all year round and generally the weather in Thailand is HOT and SUNNY. That’s great news for all you beach lovers! The high season in Thailand is from November to April with the HOT HOT season from March to June.
May to October is known as the rainy season and that generally means that there will be sudden downpours during this period. Don’t let that put you off though, Thailand even during the rainy season can have some really fantastic weather!
I would suggest not worrying too much about the weather when planning your trip to Thailand. Pack those swimmers, stock up on factor 50 and get ready to sip cocktails poolside!
Why should I travel Thailand in 2021?
The most simple answer I can give you is this… Thailand as a destination has something for EVERYONE – culture, adventure, party nights out and some of the friendliest locals on earth. Here are a few other reasons to visit Thailand once this COVID stuff is all over;
The Experiences will BLOW your MIND! 🥊
Thailand is a destination with such a wide range of unique experiences from north to south. You can find yourself sleeping on floating bungalows in the rainforest down south or if Muay Thai is more you’re thing you can try your hand at the ancient form of combat up in the northern hippie town of Pai.
Temples, tuk tuk’s & taste buds! 🛺
Get stuck into temples, Tuk Tuk’s and floating markets in the heart of Bangkok. If you’re a bit of a foodie you’ll fall in love with the street’s flavours. By night the streets go wild with crazy nightlife on the world-famous Khao San Road.
Turquoise waters & white sandy beaches 🏝
If there is one thing that Thailand does better than most other places and that’s…BEACHES! Find yourself on some of the most idyllic beaches in the world surrounded by limestone formations and traditional long-tail boats. Popular spots like Koh Phi Phi, Railay and Krabi should not be MISSED!
For some ideas of things to do on the islands – take a read of this blog ’11 Things to do in Koh Phi Phi’
Hand feed baby elephants 🐘
Imagine getting the opportunity to tick off a once in a lifetime experience… yes that’s right – hand feed cute little elephants in Thailand! An experience that will fill your heart with emotions running wild. After getting up close and personal with these incredible animals you will have tears running down your cheeks with joy!
Dance like nobody is watching 💃
Whether you like the idea of dancing on the streets of Bangkok or partying on the beaches of the islands. Where ever you end up it will be a wild night that’s for sure. Thailand is home to some of the most famous parties in the world. Grab yourself a cocktail bucket and we’ll see you on the beaches of Koh Phi Phi for a night you won’t forget.
So what next?
Thailand might not be the best option for the immediate future, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get PLANNING and SAVE as much as possible for when borders open again. Life is gradually returning to normal with the vaccination programs in full force. As much as these last 18 months have been tough – it’s important to have that something to look forward to. You can check out a little about what we do here
If this blog has helped and you are seriously looking to go travelling in Thailand, you should check out our popular Thailand North to South – 15 day adventure. Our trips have been handcrafted by our awesome crew. You’ll be joined by other liked minded people and led by one of our fun and passionate Group Leaders. There is no better way to travel Thailand, whether you are doing it solo, with a friend or sharing the journey with your partner in crime. All our trips include pretty much everything – you just need to book the trip, buy travel insurance and arrange flights. We’ll cover the rest.